10 Things I Learned On the Set of Canada’s Got Talent Season One

By on , in Coiffed-Up

A selected bunch of the Hair On The Avenue team were fortunate enough to be a part of the glamour gang for season one of the Canadian reality talent show, Canada’s Got Talent. Among the hair crew was HOTA stylist Kelly Araujo (Dina Pugliese’s mane gal), who is here to dish her top ten lessons learned on set.

1) Time is of the essence: On the set of a national TV show, time is no luxury; each minute is a godsend– so you must use every one wisely! And don’t forget to bring your ‘A’ game: whether you’re given one hour or fifteen minutes to execute a look, it’s got to be perfect!

2) Good communication is the key: Stylists go to great lengths to achieve a beautiful masterpiece but what happens during the process might not look so pretty (and others may not necessarily know that!). Keep communication open to avoid any misunderstandings. For instance, I put Dina’s hair in pin curls to set during dress rehearsal some crew members thought that was her hairstyle for the actual show- probably should have communicated the hair plan a little better!

3) Trust your gut: Go with the look that you feel will work best. Be confident in your inclinations, and don’t second guess yourself!

 4) Think ‘grand-scheme’: A complete look consists of 3 things: hair, make-up and wardrobe. Celebrities on the ‘best dressed’ list are there because they have managed to strike a balance between these three elements. A simple hairstyle can have the same ‘show-stopping’ effect as something more dramatic when accompanied with the right wardrobe and make up. The goal is not to try and outshine either, but to enhance the overall look.

5) Step out of your shell: Push your creativity to new boundaries and try out new looks! Dress rehearsals offer the perfect opportunity to create a ‘mock’ version of the planned look and helps determine whether or not the attempt fares well on-screen. I learned this gem first hand: Dina and I had high hopes in creating a look with faux bangs. It took us weeks to source out the faux fringe (with the help of master wig make Judy Cooper-Sealy) that matched the color of Dina’s hair and when we finally found the right one (or so it seemed) we used dress rehearsal to test it out. Dina went out there like a champ looking a little eccentric and needless to say, we decided against the look.

6) Laugh a little! Working on set can be stressful; it’s very important to make time for laughter and have a little fun! Getting stressed about the small things you cannot control is a losing battle- you’re bound to lose focus and as a result, your work will likely suffer. On the set of CGT, there was no shortage of laughs, and even a few pranks!

7) Know your place: You’re there for one reason and one reason only- hair. Cast aside any opinions that interfere with your duty and instead focus on creating fabulous hair!

8) The ‘Early Bird’ gets the Worm: Schedules have a tendency to change on a production of this magnitude. Always show up earlier than your scheduled call time. That way, if your cast member ends up being ready for you earlier than originally scheduled, you can take advantage and get started earlier. Every extra minute you have works in your favour.

 9) Come Prepared: I made a habit of arriving on set armed with a file folder chalk full of fresh new hair ideas to use as references every week. In doing so, I was able to communicate my ideas clearly and Dina was able to get a visual of the direction I wanted to head. We saved time because we were able to make decisions faster, and our expectations for the finished product were always on the same page.

10) Success is a direct result of teamwork!  There is not one successful person on this planet that can say they achieved it all alone. There is always a team to support them. Always be a team player!

And lastly, words cannot describe the extent of the pride and love I feel for my Hair On The Avenue team. Kathleen Sou, Matthew Ingraldi, Tara Lorenzoni, Tony Pham, and Chris Wood, worked fervently every weekend to make sure the contestants hair look extraordinary. On days when I wasn’t feeling my best, they were the ones that re-assured me.  Every great team is headed by a great leader and fortunately for us we have Luis Pacheco. Luis has been a dream every step of the way. His constant support is something I personally, could not have done without. I feel grateful for this amazing team of ours. Our genuine love and support of each other not only as stylists but as human beings, is what will continue to set us apart from all the rest. I can’t wait for what comes next, but for now this is the end of another chapter. It’s been a wonderful ride!

For a look at some of Kelly’s creations for Dina, please browse the gallery below!

Crew Photo via Mark O’Neill Photography